Well done on picking out your first home! You are certainly pleased with your investment, though you may also feel overloaded by all these new responsibilities. Now that you’re the homeowner, not the renter, it’s your job to maintain all your home’s appliances and utilities, including the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you’ve ever come across with a furnace or air conditioner is to change the thermostat, you have a lot to learn. Get a head start with these HVAC system tips for brand-new homeowners.
Know the Parts of an HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Unless you live in an idyllic climate, your new home probably has this system to keep you warm through the winter and cool throughout the summer. Here are the basic parts of an HVAC system:
- Comfort equipment, such as an air conditioner, air-source heat pump, furnace, boiler, geothermal heat pump or ductless mini-split, to name a few options.
- Ductwork connected to return and supply registers in the case of air-forced systems including ACs, heat pumps and furnaces.
- Radiators or hot water distribution systems like boilers.
- Indoor air quality products, like an air filter, whole-house humidifier, whole-house dehumidifier, air purifier or energy-recovery ventilator.
- Thermostat for indoor temperature control.
Appreciate the Importance of Preventive Maintenance
When you were a renter, the landlord probably took care of HVAC maintenance tasks like replacing the air filter. They may or may not have also handled the bill for comprehensive heating and cooling inspections.
Now that you’re in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the attention it deserves. First, prioritize these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
- Swap out the air filter every 30 to 90 days.
- Lightly hose down the outdoor unit and cut back vegetation to enhance airflow.
- Keep all air registers open to preserve proper system balance.
Then, request annual maintenance for each HVAC unit. Only an experienced professional can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant and identifying air leaks in the ductwork. Anticipate the following benefits when you hire a professional to inspect your system annually:
- Energy savings
- Fewer breakdowns
- Smaller repair bills
- Enhanced home comfort
- Longer system life span
- Peace of mind
Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Trouble
Repairing and replacing the HVAC system is the homeowner’s responsibility. Watch for these signals that it’s time to contact a heating and cooling contractor:
- Loud noise: Don’t neglect a whining, rattling, clanking or banging sound. It can be a cry for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
- Comfort or air quality issues: Uneven temperatures, high or low humidity, stale rooms and mold-like odors are routinely linked to faulty HVAC equipment.
- Poor energy efficiency: Are your bills unexpectedly on the rise? This could mean your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly.
- Old age: Like all mechanical equipment, HVAC systems inevitably give out. The average life span of a furnace or boiler is 15 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps can live about a decade.
Understand the HVAC Replacement Process
If a defective furnace or air conditioner can’t be fixed, you’ll need to replace it with an HVAC contractor’s help. Here’s how this works:
- Illustrate the problem to the technician and permit them to explore it more in-depth.
- The professional will identify the problem and offer the best solutions. A repair could be doable, but according to the unit’s condition and age, a replacement may be more cost-effective.
- You can acquire numerous opinions and estimates from available contractors if you want.
- When you contact Sunbeam Service Experts, a residential sales consultant will go over what HVAC system, brand, fuel type and efficiency rating is ideal for you.
- The tech will then provide a written estimate detailing the work needed, the equipment they’ll install and the total price. You should also be given details about warranty coverage, service plans and financing options.
- Schedule the installation as soon as you pick what system you want. Your contractor will take care of everything, like hauling away the old equipment for proper disposal.
- The sales consultant will review the new system with you, describing how to use it, answering any questions and offering all the necessary documentation.
Call Sunbeam Service Experts
If you have questions about these HVAC system guidelines, don't wait to reach out to Sunbeam Service Experts. We focus on customer education to help you make an informed decision about your HVAC system. Our team is well-versed in a full array of HVAC services, so give us a call for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair to heat pump installation. For more info or to ask about an estimate, please call your local Sunbeam Service Experts office today.